Despite being called in yesterday, the Rendezvous was dead. We barely had any customers despite the weather clearing up – the guests the bosses predicted just didn’t show.
Turns out, they were waiting for today.
We only had Fries, Grill and Thai open, with Mexican being permanently closed until winter now, and there was just three of us running the front, fully expecting it to be quiet and we’ll spend the day cleaning to occupy ourselves. I don’t even do much prep because we have more than enough to get through a normal day – I just do one kale salad.
When we open, it’s as expected. Completely dead. Only Grill gets customers, and after 30 minutes I decide to take my break since Thai isn’t getting any business. When I return however, there’s a line of 5 people.
…And that pretty much describes the rest of my day. There was almost never a quiet moment – I was lucky to get five minutes to refill the vegetable options or cook more noodles. The guys on Grill had helped me prep and made a full tray of noodles, but by 2 they were all gone and I had to frantically cook some more before another customer requested it. The kale salad also vanished, which is almost unheard of even on busy days – never have I been so grateful to do prep, I kind of wished I’d done another one.
The person I felt most sorry for though was our hotline prepper. She’d been expecting an easy day, but she was on a constant rush. Normally we have backup items cooked so there’s no wait, but because we’ve not been busy, we’ve been working on a ‘tell me when you’re down to half/a third and I’ll start cooking’ system to save on waste. It takes 10-15 minutes to cook a fresh batch of generally anything, so you can only do it on slow days.
Needless to say, when you have no backups and have requests for chilli, salmon, chicken, pork belly and meatballs all at the same time, there’s a bit of a rush.
At one point, I’m out of all proteins except tofu, because it only takes 2 minutes from me telling her I needed a refill to empty chicken, pork and meatballs. Even when she manages to get them out, I’ve got 3 more things I need a refill on, as well as Grill looking for additional bacon. Woman didn’t get a second to herself.
We were supposed to consider staying open until 3:30, but thanks to the busy rush we’re tragically short on manpower and going to need all the time we can get, so I close at 3:00 as usual, and immediately start doing some prep after clearing out the dirty trays. We’re completely out of papaya slaw, which wasn’t even on my prep list this morning, we had 3 tubs this morning, and it’s all gone. I don’t have time to do it completely, but I did manage to core them for tomorrow, as well as prepping another tub of gai lan, red kale and green kale. Making the slaw and kale salad will have to be Thai’s job tomorrow.
Honestly, I feel really bad about how I handled today. I just struggle under stressful conditions, and working on a station that I’m only competent on solo while having to make 4-5 bowls at a time, often running out of food faster than it can be replaced is extremely taking. The worst was a huge family of Chinese guests who wanted seven bowls but couldn’t seem to agree on what they wanted – my supervisor ended up taking over and getting them to agree on chicken as a protein after I’d suffered nearly 3 minutes of just getting them to agree on the contents of 2 bowls.
In addition, I couldn’t get to the hotline prepper at the best times, and I didn’t have enough prep, especially considering the Grill and Fries seemed to handle the rush perfectly fine. Although that’s not really fair – Grill EXISTS in a state of permanent rush, so they’re more used to handling it.
It’s been an exhausting day, and we’re a little baffled at just how busy it was. Where did all these people come from? It takes so long to clean everything up at the end that we end up holding the Peak to Peak up while we try and get there – we’re supposed to be on at 5:15, but I don’t think that gondola stopped until 5:30 at least.
Feel a little guilty that so much prep has been left for tomorrow, but unless we get a crazy rush again, they should be fine.